Opium, Rape and the American Way by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov. 2, 2009

The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban. The moral lines we draw between us and our adversaries are fictional. The uplifting narratives used to justify the war in Afghanistan are pathetic attempts to redeem acts of senseless brutality. War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. War always empowers those who have a penchant for violence and access to weapons. War turns the moral order upside down and abolishes all discussions of human rights. War banishes the just and the decent to the margins of society. And the weapons of war do not separate the innocent and the damned. An aerial drone is our version of an improvised explosive device. An iron fragmentation bomb is our answer to a suicide bomb. A burst from a belt-fed machine gun causes the same terror and bloodshed among civilians no matter who pulls the trigger.

“We need to tear the mask off of the fundamentalist warlords who after the tragedy of 9/11 replaced the Taliban,” Malalai Joya, who was expelled from the Afghan parliament two years ago for denouncing government corruption and the Western occupation, told me during her visit to New York last week. “They used the mask of democracy to take power. They continue this deception. These warlords are mentally the same as the Taliban. The only change is physical. These warlords during the civil war in Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996 killed 65,000 innocent people. They have committed human rights violations, like the Taliban, against women and many others.”


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2009 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).


Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion – The Cult of Self

Glenn Greenwald on Afghanistan, State Secrets, Healthcare and the Media

Wilkerson: U.S. troop increase inevitable

MIR: Taliban – If You Can’t Beat Them, Buy Them!

US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s visit to the Afghan peace vigil youth‎

10 thoughts on “Opium, Rape and the American Way by Chris Hedges

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  9. Shaine Parker hits upon a little known fact and is correct in his statement. The CIA has long been involved in heroin trafficking. The Hmong mountain tribes were fighting the communist Pathet Lao in Laos during the Vietnam war and the CIA’s airline, Air America, flew heroin out of the country in return for the Hmong support. The first victims were the American troops in Vietnam. The CIA flew heroin out of Turkey in collaboration with the Corsican mafia and their assistance in breaking the communist unions along the southern coast of France after World War 2. It is all described in a book called The Politics of Heroin by Alfred McCoy, a professor at the University of Wisconsin.

  10. It should be noted that the CIA toppled the democratically relatively smootly running government of the 19970.s, giving rise to the Soviet invasion. The CIA’s funnelling of money into Afghanistan to defeat the Soviets created the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Violence begets violence, and the US is the aggressor here. The US needs to get out immediately.

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